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Wednesday, October 27, 2004


VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2004 (VIS) - During today's general audience, the Pope spoke about the second part of Psalm 48, "Human riches do not save," which "condemns the illusion created by the idolatry of riches."

  Addressing the 20,000 people present in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father affirmed that the psalm proposes "a realistic and severe meditation on death, the unavoidable end of the human existence."

  "Often," he continued, "we try to ignore this reality in every way possible, putting off thinking about it.  But this effort, besides being useless, is also inopportune.  Reflecting on death is beneficial because it puts into perspective so many things that we have made absolute, such as money, success and power."

  John Paul II explained that "then, the psalm suddenly changes. If money cannot 'save' us from death, there is somebody who can redeem us from the dark and dramatic reality, God."

  "In this way," he affirmed, "a horizon of hope and immortality opens up for the just man. … God rescues him and snatches the faithful from the hands of death because He is the only one who can conquer death, inevitable for man."

  The Holy Father indicated that for this reason the psalmist "invites us 'not to fear' and not to envy the arrogant rich man in his glory because when he dies he will be stripped of everything, and will not be able to take with him his gold or silver, fame or success.  However," he concluded, "the faithful will not be abandoned by the Lord Who will show him 'the path of life, the fullness of joy in His presence, endless happiness at His right hand." 
AG/PSALM 48/…                                VIS 20041027 (280)

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